logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: netgalley
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-27 04:18
The Girl Who Was Taken
The Girl Who Was Taken - Charlie Donlea

By:  Charlie Donlea

ISBN: 1496701003

Publisher:  Kensington

Publication Date: 4/25/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  3.5 Stars

 

Charlie Donlea returns following his debut, Summit Lake with THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN – a disturbing, and evil sadistic game of kidnapping and abduction goes bad. The Capture Club. More than one monster? An abandoned haunted subdivision Stellar Heights. A psychopath. Lies and secrets. A sister who will not give up.

Set in a small southeastern town of North Carolina (not in an area worthy of scenery or landmarks), we meet a rebellious teen. A selfish, self-centered girl who is out of control. However, she has cried wolf too many times. Now she really needs help and it may be too late for saving.

Flashing back and forth, we learn of two girls who go missing. Megan McDonald and Nichole Cutty. Megan was taken, the daughter of Emerson Bay’s Sherriff in the summer of 2016. Nichole was taken about the same time. Megan goes free. Nichole is still missing.

One year later, Megan is out with a book, called Missing. A so-called true story account of her abduction and courageous escape. Did the killer let her go, or did she escape? Does she remember the events or has she repressed the horrific events?

However, turns out Megan is not forthcoming about the real truths of her abduction. It was a front to keep people at bay. She had been on her way to Duke University. Everyone wanted to know the morbid details of her captivity. She needed to be a success story. Her abductor had let her go.

Nichole was still missing. What happened to Nichole and what is Megan hiding?

“A life might end, but sometimes their case lives forever.” - Gerald Colt, MC

Donlea spends most of the book featuring Livia Cutty, the sister of Nichole. She chose forensics as a career because someday her parents would get the call that her sister’s body had been found. There would be questions about what happened to her and what they did to her. She needed to be the person to gather those answers. She chose to take a position in Raleigh, NC, close to where she grew up in Emerson Bay. Livia, a pathologist was happy to be a part of a well-funded program run by Dr. Gerland Colt, widely considered in the world of forensics as a pioneer.

She had to do something for her sister. She was not there when Nichole placed the call that night. It was always drama with Nichole. Livia could only imagine finding redemption in some form and be able to help her sister in the future.

A body comes in which is thought to be a suicide. Turns out the guy, Casey had dated her sister Nichole. However, was it suicide or murder? Her sister was wild, and out of control before she was taken. What had she gotten herself into with someone like this?

Livia thought something was off about Megan’s book and her account of her abduction. However, the book was the closest thing she had gotten about the real details of the night Megan and Nichole were taken.

However, were they actually taken at the same time? What really happened and how are these two connected? What about other girls that were taken. Are they connected? A similar drug was used. We learn about the events leading up to the abduction. (did not find this very interesting).

Livia was ten years older than Nichole. Still, Livia knew most of Nichole’s friends from that time. Jessica Tanner had been one of her sister’s closest friends. She receives a call about Casey. The guy they had pulled out of the bay. He was the guy Nichole was dating that summer before she disappeared.

From here the bulk of the book goes on and on about the sick immature games Nichole played and the Capture Club (pretty far out). Nichole was self-centered, narcissistic, jealous, and manipulated everyone, seeking attention from everyone, mostly guys. Rebellion. She was part of this cult-club, who enjoyed playing games obsessed with abductions. (So tired of hearing about this girl, was hoping she would never be found).

A dangerous dark game. Nichole was jealous of Megan. Games she played. However, her plan backfires. A cast of characters from boyfriends promiscuous behavior, drugs, sex, and more abductions. Casey was creepy as well as many others. A bag over the head. Where are these bodies going?

We hear about all gory details of the bodies coming into the examiner’s office and not so realistic attempts by Livia to investigate the whereabouts of her sister and other missing elements. She finally teams up with Megan leading them to the real horror of the night both girls were taken.

My take: This was a difficult review to write as for why I have delayed posting. I hate to be negative; however, being honest here with a much lower rating than the first book. I really enjoyed Summit Lake, Donlea’s debut; however, was not fully engaged on any level with The Girl Who Was Taken.

Not many likable characters here and the best part of the book starts about 80%. Fast action and suspense. Then after all the buildup for an entire book, the identity of the killer is revealed, and like nothing happens. It ends. This would have been an opportunity for an entire book here. Very similar to another book I just finished (another 3 star).

Livia and Megan learn the identity and (it was like, now OK, and let’s move on- what’s for dinner)? From both sides. No why or explanation? No flushing out. No emotion. I am not a fan of cutting off a book this abruptly. Would like to have more focus and time spent on the latter part and less on the teenage disturbing events. Will not go into more details, with spoilers. I would have liked to hear more from Megan, her childhood and parents. Would have been an intriguing story here.

However, Donlea does a good job with the forensics, even though most folks in her situation would not be allowed all the liberties, but again this is fiction. The author offers suspense and action with a number of red herrings.

Sure the book will attract a variety of readers on a more positive note since it was outside- the-box. Would like to have a much more interesting city in NC for the setting, which was not expanded upon here. Really enjoy this author, so hoping for something different next go around.

I think my overall reading interests are changing to less dark thrillers, and enjoying more: domestic suspense, literary and historical fiction. Finding the more I read my book interests (genre) change.

A special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/06/The-Girl-Who-Was-Taken
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-04-27 00:37
70% done with The Night Brother by Rosie Garland
The Night Brother - Rosie Garland

 

I've not read anything like this before, it's so unique and unusual and I honestly have no idea where it's going. I want to fly through the pages but at the same time, I want to savour it and make it last longer.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-04-26 15:38
Reading progress update: I've read 52%.
The Wild Woman's Guide to Traveling the World: A Novel - Kristin Rockaway

Oh gods how many of us are stuck in this trap ? The job the career the relationship-Told how we should be so we strive for that, somebody else's expectations ? I see myself here, and wish I'd been more free

Like Reblog Comment
review 2017-04-26 04:27
Anything is Possible
Anything Is Possible - Elizabeth Strout

By: Elizabeth Strout

ISBN: 9780812989403

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 4/25/2017  

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars +

 
From the author of My Name is Lucy Barton and the smashing hit Olive Kitteridge the HBO mini-series starring Frances McDormand (I loved) — Elizabeth Strout once again "wows" readers and her avid fans, with her insights into the human psyche — when ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

Extraordinary novels, deftly combining lyrical prose with heartrending subject matter. A desperate need to be understood and accepted.

Compelling! Nine powerful and emotional stories. Grace and forgiveness. Flawed people who have experienced tragedy and haunting childhoods, abuse, mental illness, injustice, poverty, bullying, regrets, torment, war trauma, imploding lives, marriage problems, and severe loss.

People who hide behind social status. A sense of entitlement. Those who have survived and yet still remain with their own scars. There have been deep fissures in each of these families. The cracks. Some have been pushed to the breaking point, with shattering, unforeseeable consequences.

If you read My Name Is Lucy Barton (highly recommend), you may be rushing back to the title to refresh yourself, as I found myself doing.

Lucy came from a poor and dysfunctional family. She was determined and managed to escape the small town of Amgash, IL. She was diligent and became a successful author. She ultimately forgave her parents.

However, the scars of her past and the people who shaped her life, and the way she was treated by her family, siblings, and people of this town have haunted her.

Strout takes us back to some of the characters, cousins, family members, neighbors, school classmates, and siblings. We learn of the heartaches and fears, the narrow-minded thinking of these people. Where are these people today? Discovering how harsh words and actions stay with people. A profound message.

Even when someone succeeds, there are those who try and tear down the things we are most proud of. Each story sends a powerful message. Who do they blame? Are they accountable for their actions?

Broken people. Such hope for us all if only can learn to communicate. Not only with our families but the people whom we come in contact with on a daily basis. Intuitive. Being able to help those who need someone to care.

We can see from the outside a dysfunctional family can fall prey to those in a small town who do not really understand what's going on with the family as a whole, or those that make up the family (s).

We each have our own favorite stories in the collection. I enjoyed the story of Tommy, Pete, Patty, and Lucy’s return to town which did not go as expected when Vicky (sister) brings up the horrors of the past and Lucy has a panic attack driving her away. I also enjoyed the people from her past which showed up at her book signing.

Family dysfunction, problems, and crossing social classes; people are mean and they are ugly. A cruel world and Strout does not hold back. A reminder to us all. One act of compassion, caring, or kindness can make all the difference in the word.

The characters in the nine stories are shaped and at the same time, haunted by their past. They still feel trapped by the difficulties in their present day relationships and their inability to say how they truly feel. The author is a master at drawing you into the lives of her characters as she weaves in her powerful observations of human complexities and interactions. From anger, frustration, and bullying mixed with fear and cruelty.

I love this stand-out author! Her writing just keeps getting better and betters. Beautifully written, with each book I read, it makes me return to re-read or perhaps one I missed. Strout is authentic, prolific, and has mastered her skilled craft at getting inside her character’s heads, heart, and soul. They come alive on the page. ?

If you come from a small town and you happen to be the one who left and got away (I am) and became successful— you will resonate with these stories. Often those left behind are often bitter and resentful, and lash out in hateful ways and try to destroy another’s happiness when they do not have the facts. Their views are narrow and they do not think big and wide outside the box. They could have made the choice to leave. Everyone has choices. How hard do we want to strive for a better life is the question.

If you have not watched Olive Kitteridge I highly recommend. I want to watch it over and over. It stays with you. I am hoping we will get to see Anything is Possible and My Name is Lucy Barton, will be played out on the big screen. These are powerful stories that people can connect with on many levels.

There is always hope, forgiveness, and love amidst the imperfections. We are reminded that in life Anything is Possible!

For me the Washington Post article by Susan Scarf Merrell offers the perfect summary of ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE:

. . . “These stories return Strout to the core of what she does more magnanimously than anyone else, which is to render quiet portraits of the indignities and disappointments of normal life, and the moments of grace and kindness we are gifted in response.

Such a simple goal, so difficult to achieve. Each of these stories stands alone, but they are richer in juxtaposition to the others. And that’s because over the years, from angle after angle, Strout has been packing and unpacking how silence works — between people, within a single person, on the page, in the spaces between stories.

Omission is where you find what makes a writer a writer; it is in the silences where forgiveness and wisdom grow, and it is where Strout’s art flourishes. This new book pushes that endeavor even further.” . . . Read More


Well said. I just purchased Amy and Isabelle and Abide with Me audiobooks, I missed along the way. Highly recommend this author.

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in." —Leonard Cohen

This book reminds me of a plaque I have on my desk:
"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
I am reminded of this each time I return to my small hometown and family. Fans of Fredrik Backman will enjoy the exploration of small town characters and the examination of the fragile human spirit.

A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/Anything-Is-Possible
Like Reblog Comment
review 2017-04-26 02:00
Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica
Every Last Lie - Mary Kubica

A special thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

Clara Solberg and her husband Nick seem to have it all—a  great marriage, two healthy children, and a successful dental practice.  That is until Nick and the couple's four-year-old daughter, Maisie, are in a car accident that claims Nick's life.  Clara is only a few days postpartum and her emotions are running the gamut from shock, grief, confusion, disbelief, and now paranoia that is fuelled by Maisie's night terrors of "the bad man".  

 

Although the crash is ruled an accident, that Nick was speeding and lost control, Clara can't stop obsessing that Nick was run off the road.  It is here where Kubica turns truths into lies, and secrets start to take flight.  She is a master at this genre.  

 

Told in alternating perspectives of Clara in the present day, and Nick leading up to the accident, Every Last Lie accelerates in pace and suspense, but ultimately stalls out at the end.  Unfortunately with this ending, Kubica negates all of the suspense and build up she so masterfully weaves throughout.  That being said, I would still recommend the book and any of her other works.

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?